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"Playing the cello is forming a musical connection between your heart, your tone and your technique. It will become a natural and relaxed expression of who you are."


about brendon

Brendon Phelps strives to produce a unique sound that transcends the music that he is performing. His playing has been described by The Strad as having a “rich but clear sound, and beautiful shaping and leading.” His credits include Carnegie Hall, Princeton University, Casa de la Musica in Quito, Ecuador, and the International Mendelssohn festival in Hamburg, Germany. Among other notable collaborations, he has performed the Mendelssohn Octet with the Shanghai Quartet at the Tilles Center in Brookville, New York.


Brendon’s concert experience can be described as profoundness of interpretation, yet inventive and is exemplified by composers that he loves to perform — Janacek, Debussy, Caroline Shaw and Giovanni Sollima — who all are united in how they showcase the cello as a moldable versatile instrument. He is motivated by the need to, in his words, "change the way the cello sounds." Concert goers have expressed feeling "charmed, engaged and electrified" by "his presentation and communication.”


In 2023 he founded Trio Noir with violinist Maude Cloutier, and pianist Alexandre Marr. The trio's performances to date comprise, but are not limited to performing in Cleveland’s legendary Severance Hall, and for Akron’s Tuesday Musical Members series. Recent projects include transcribing and performing a program of Turkish music dating back to the Ottoman Empire as part of a collaboration with the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. He participated in a performance with the Ukrainian Music Project, a virtual orchestra of musicians from 21 countries around the world preserving Ukrainian classical and folk music. Phelps also has performed as part of an initiative to introduce music in prisons across the United States.


Chamber music was also the entry point into developing his teaching. He was a resident at Shenandoah Conservatory, and Shippensburg University where he coached chamber music and orchestra. He has taught and performed at the Interlochen Academy as a chamber music teaching fellow, and maintains an online cello studio, teaching a diverse group of students based across the United States, and in South Africa. A firm believer in outreach, he has frequently visited grade-schools to introduce young students to string instruments, present classical music in an engaging manner, and work with the school’s orchestra programs.


He holds a BM from the University of Akron, and a MM from the Cleveland Institute of Music, with a double major in Suzuki pedagogy, and an Early Music Certificate from Case Western University. He went on to earn an AD from Montclair State as part of a string quartet fellowship with the Shanghai Quartet.

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